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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  January 10, 2010 2:00pm-3:00pm EST

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it's been drug on for so long that it's getting ridiculous. >> jean comes to every one of his court hearings, angry at what he did to her life. >> i just want to see that he's placed for what he's done. ♪ >> i just don't trust people anymore. >> is there a country western song in this? >> it's up there in my head somewhere. >> the wilds say they were lucky that they got wise to upton before they invested anything more than their time and yet they feel betrayed just the same. >> it's hard because you think your daughter's going to go somewhere and you know she can be someone, and you get caught up in all of that. ♪ ♪ home made lemonade memories, mama, pour the sugar, while we pick out the seeds ♪ >> dalea didn't let her experience with upton destroy her dream. >> we're going to take this from the top one more time. >> she moved to nashville,
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started a myspace page for her music, and she began working with a man named dave gibson, a renowned country music musician and producer, who has had several hits. his wife, daisy dern, is also helping her try to get a record deal. ♪ those homemade lemonade memories ♪ >> she reminds me a lot of, you know, some of the classic country singers, you know? a little bit of alison krauss in there. but she kills me, she really does. >> dalea says she's put her experience with dominique in the past. she's moved on. >> i could have lived in that moment and let that ruin my whole life, you know. let that ruin my whole dream, crush my dream. but, eventually, you know, if you're -- if you're persistent and you're driven and you're determined, you're going to make it, you're going to go, you know? and i think that's with anything. you've got to stay motivated and determined.
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♪ memories captions paid for by nbc-universal television this sunday -- >> i will not be a candidate for re-election this november. >> i just want to do some other things in life. >> no longer a candidate for re-election in 2010. >> 14 months after president obama swept democrats to victory in congress, could this string of key retirements turn the tide for the party in 2010? a live debate this morning between the two sides on the midterm elections and the obama agenda. democratic national committee chairman governor tim kaine of virginia versus republican national committee chairman, michael steele. then, he is governor of the
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state with the world's eighth largest economy and a massive $20 billion budget deficit. as arnold schwarzenegger enters his final year as the governor of california, what can he do to turn his state around? and how does the future of california impact the rest of the united states? our exclusive interview with california governor arnold schwarzenegger. plus, obama's priorities for the upcoming year. how will the shifting landscape for 2010 affect health care and the economy? and after the attempted christmas day airline bombing exposes ongoing cracks in the nation's security system, the president promises to keep the country safe. >> i am less interested in passing out blame than i am in learning from and correcting these mistakes to make us safer. for ultimately, the buck stops with me. >> insights and analysis from nbc news chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell, and nbc news political director and chief white house correspondent, chuck todd.
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but first, good morning, live from los angeles. we have come here to put a spotlight on a state that is on the leading edge of this country's economic downturn. we'll speak exclusively with governor arnold schwarzenegger in just a few minutes. amid all of the political tension before this midyear election year, there is some developing news this weekend back in washington. the president released a statement yesterday standing behind the senate majority leader harry reid after some racially insensitive remarks were made during the 2008 primary campaign about the then-candidate obama were reported in a just-published book. here with us live to talk politics the chairman of both political parties, governor tim kaine and rnc chair michael steele. good morning to both of you. >> good morning. >> let me start with those remarks by harry reid as reported in this book about the 2008 race. "senator reid was wowed by
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obama's or torquical gifts and believed that t country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as obama, a light-skinned african-american, with no negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one, as he said privately. reid was convinced that obama's race would help him more than hurt him for the democratic nomination." senator reid quickly apologized. he spoke to president obama yesterday, who, as i said, issued a statement saying the case is closed on this, he accepts the apology. governor kaine, is the case closed? should there be a consequence for these remarks? >> i think the case is closed because president obama has spoken directly with the leader and accepted his apology. the comments were unfortunate and they were insensitive. they were in the context of praising the senator and acknowledging that the senator could be a great president, but they were still insensitive. i think senator reid stepped up, acknowledged they were wrong. apologized to the president. he's accepted the apology and we're moving on. >> michael steele, back in 2002
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trent lott was ousted for racially insensitive remarks. he, at that point, said that strom thurmond, had he been elected for president, would have had some of the problem over all those year, then senator obama said at that point that lott ought to be ousted as a majority leader. you see a difference between then and now? >> oh, yeah, there is a big double standard here. the thing about it that's interesting is that when democrats get caught saying racist things you know, an apology is enough. if that had been mitch mcconnell saying that about an african-american candidate for president of the united states, trust me, this chairman and the dnc would be screaming for his head very much as they were with trent lott. and the reality of it is racism, and racist conversations, have no place today in america. this term, like, you know, he's
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going to pass for white america because he's got this negro dialect he can turn on or turn off because he's got light skin, that's a language that harkens back to the 1950s and '60s, and confirms to me as a mind-set out of step with where the american people are today. but i can assure you if i had as national chairman said that well, it's all behind us and he's apologized let's move on, no one would be accepting that. there has to be a consequence here if the standard is the one that was set in 2002 with trent lott. >> is the consequence that senator reid should step down? >> i believe it is. from my perspective, whether he steps down today or i retire him in november, either way, he will not be the leader in 2011. >> governor kaine? >> well, first, the senator said, i mean, chairman steele said earlier this week that the republicans were not going to win it back. so leader reid's still going to be the leader. but i will say, anybody look looking at trent lott statements, praising somebody who had been a pro-segregation candidate for president will see that there is no comparison
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between those comments and those of senator reid's. the senator did make comments that were wrong and insensitive and he's apologized, but he made them in the context of promoting the candidacy, the historic candidacy of senator obama. >> you don't think he should resign? >> absolutely not. >> chairman steele, how is the mood around the country? >> the mood of the country right now is sour. people are angry, they're frustrated, they're scared. and i think you see, and have seen, certainly in the 2009 elections with, and you will see this year, the public standing up and saying they've had enough. they're saying no to more taxes, they're saying no to more government. and as we're about to celebrate this one-year anniversary of the administration, what do we have? we have no health care, we have no jobs, we have no money, and we have, oh, $13 trillion worth of debt. that is not lost on the american people right now. and so they're going to the polls, they're going to their town halls. they're going to the streets of the country and they're saying, enough. and they're putting the leadership on notice. pay attention to us, listen to us. we're telling you what we want
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and what we don't want and yet this administration and this democratic party has a tin ear to the fact that people out there are hurting. we haven't created jobs, and yet now we're going to have another conversation about jobs. that should have been the conversation on the first day, not, you know, the things that the administration has pursued. >> chairman kaine, it's a very difficult year to be an incumbent party, as the democrats are. >> well, david, it's a challenging one. as you know, the history is this, that midterm elections for president since 1900, the president would normally lose about 28 house seats, four senate seats, lose governors' races. but the good thing about president obama's team is that they're not used to an uphill climb. we're going to do a lot better than people think for three reasons. first, this president does have a record of success. from day one, focused on economic recovery in ways that have cut job losses from 800,000 a month, now in the last month, to 80,000 a month. we're not where we want to be yet, but thank goodness we have arrested the free fall of the economy and we see positive
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signs throughout the nation. we're not where we want to be yet. second, the other side has more retirements than we have. i know we'll probably talk about that, but just on these retirements this week, 14 house republicans have announced their retirement, 10 democrats. six republican senators have announced their retirements, two democrats. four republican governors have announced their retirements, two democrats. that's going to help us. and finally, the republicans have demonstrated that they're not ready to lead. from saying no to everything to having an internal battle among the party chase arlen specter out, chasing dee dee skoz faza out. and many mainstream republicans fighting primary battles or censures like senator graham, there's a civil war that's corrosive on the republican side that's going to enable us to do a lot better than many folks think. >> chairman steele, earlier this week you said you didn't think the republican party could
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retake the majority in congress in 2010. if you think president obama's doing so poorly, why did you say that? why do you believe that? >> well, no, the rest of that was, if we're not prepared to do it, if we don't have principled candidates out there running, as we need to, and we have those candidates. we have those individuals out there who are already making a mark. look, i'm excited about the fact that we're going to engage in a very healthy battle and campaign this year. look at what we did in 2009. we won new jersey governorship. we won the governorship of your state. you know, the reality of it is, we have candidates with ideas that people want to pay attention to and follow. right now in massachusetts, scott brown is doing a valiant effort by listening to the people of massachusetts and talking to them about common sense agendas that empower them from the bottom up, not government down. so the reality of it remains this -- >> all right, i just want to be clear -- >> this administration has put some things on the table that have turned america off. the question isn't whether or not the republicans take the house back, it's whether or not the democrats can keep it. and right now, they can't.
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>> let me just be clear here. hold on, governor kaine. let me be clear, senator steele, do you think republicans will regain hold of congress? >> absolutely. we absolutely can take the congress back this year. there will not be a 60-seat majority for the democrats come january of next year. there's parody that's going to be created and the republicans are going to create that parody. >> david, let me go right back to what chairman steele said earlier this week. he said that the republicans were not going to take congress and he said why. he said it's because they're not ready to lead. we see that over and over again, a philosophy that just says no to everything, that stands by and watches an economy in free fall is not what the american people want. >> let me interject some specific issues and very narrow, targeted responses on particular issues. you'll hear from governor arnold schwarzenegger in a few minutes, governor kaine. one of the things he says, and efs an earlier support of the notion of health care reform,
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the white house was relying on him. he said the burden of the health care reform coming down the pike, is that the burden on states is onerous, that it's akin to beating up on a state like california because of its mandate to expand the medicare rules, including other demands on the states. you're a governor. do you understand what he's saying? >> david, i do, but i've looked at this very carefully in connection with the virginia budget. and i think what is often missed is that there's going to be some cost to states to expand medicaid, but then that will take huge financial burdens out of state budgets that we're incurring right now to take care of those who are uninsured. virginia is an example. we have over 1.2 million virginiane virginians that are uninsured. and we spend hundreds of millions every year to take care of them in emergency rooms for serious emergency treatment that could have been prevented under this health reform bill. for example, preventative care is no copay. we're going to move towards
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prevention. state budgets will save dollars now from pull people back from the brink of sickness that they needn't been suffering under. i think virginia stands to benefit, much do other american states, from finally passing meaningful health care reform. >> chairman steele, do you think it will help republicans in the fall to campaign against obama's health care reform? >> absolutely. because it's a boondoggle. i mean, it's loaded with taxes, it's loaded with government intrusion and regulation. it's loaded with, you know, debt that's going to be passed on to future generations. like governor schwarzenegger, governor kaine is passing on a $4 billion deficit to his successor. where do you think that deficit comes from? it comes from the weight that's put on states by unfunded mandates from the federal government. if you bought into this health care plan in the first place, where you signed on and took some of the early money, there were strings attached to that. you have states that are now going to be burdened in the
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future to fund programs that the federal government said we'll do today, but you carry the weight tomorrow. this is the reality that a lot of governors around the country are facing. and you're going to layer on top of that a health care boondoggle, an experiment that no one can tell you what it's actually going to cost. we're now hearing that it's going to be a little bit more than we thought it was going to be. >> david, let me focus on it. i think you've asked an excellent question. will the campaigns of 2010 be heavily focused on health care? you will have the republican party campaigning to repeal this historic health bill that will pass. you'll have me and my team out promoting it. i want to have that campaign. i want to face a republican party chair and leadership that says, no, we need to go back and let insurance companies kick people off who are sick. i want them to go explain why 47 million americans are uninsured and why the costs will continue to escalate to break the bank of middle-income families and businesses. let them defend that status quo. >> we'll leave health care there for a minute. >> we'll -- >> let me leave health care
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there for a minute. i have a couple minutes left, a couple of issues i want to address. chairman steele, you have a new book out, "the 12 steps to take on the obama agenda and defeat the obama agenda." and you talk about making it very clear that there'll be pents for certain conservatives who don't espouse conservative values. but your leadership has come under some question this week, whether it's statements that you've made, like earlier in the week, saying you wouldn't take back congress, you picked a fight with rush limbaugh earlier in the year, you said abortion was a choice. people have questioned you taking money for speeches and even taking money for writing the book. and you said this week, if you don't want me in the job, fire me, but until then, shut up, to your republican critics. are you an effective leader of the republican party? >> i am. i think i am a passionate leader of this party. i'm a grassroots guy. i grew up here in the streets of d.c. at 17, decided to become a republican. and i've been fighting that fight ever since. i've believed passionately in those principles that drew me to this party. and i get angry, sometimes, when we walk away from those principles. i get angry and frustrated when i see those principles not being
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regarded, because they have been the foundation for generations. and the reality of it is, as chairman, i have raised $80 million this year. i've won two gubernatorial races that no one thought i could win, one in his backyard. i've got 370,000 new donors to the party. i've got $8 million cash on hand when the budget i inherited said i would have zero, i would have debt. i have no debt. they have debt. i have the same amount of money cash on hand, as my partner here, who has the white house, both houses of congress, $8 million, going into this year. so i think overall, i'm doing okay. >> final question, chairman steele, is the republican party guilty of politicizing terrorism right now? >> oh, absolutely not. oh, my goodness, no. >> david, they are. that's all they're doing, is terrorism issues, is trying to politicize -- >> let chairman steele -- hold on, governor, let chairman steele answer the question and then you respond. >> absolutely not. dick cheney has it dead right. this administration has not put out a clear vision of how
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they're going to handle national security. and we're going to stop, close gitmo, not done. we're surprised and amazed that the dots weren't connected on what happened on december 25th. the american people don't trust the direction this is going. if you can't call a thing what it is, and that is terrorism, people wonder if you know what to do with it. and that's where we are right now. >> governor kaine, 30 seconds. >> the president's approach to terrorism has been praised by many of the bush administration leaders across the board from the day he's come into office. when the incident happened on the air flight into detroit, it was only a matter of days before republican leaders were trying to use it in fund-raising letters, making all kinds of outrageous claims, such as the president never uses the word "terror." as you know, that's ridiculous. he uses it all the time in speeches. they've been claiming that the way that this recent suspect is being treated is contrary to what should happen for national security. the case is being treated exactly the same way. the bush administration treated the richard reid case.
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and so this is an instance where the president's doing the right thing, the republicans are just looking for an excuse to raise money and politicize it. this president is going to unify americans and keep us safe, rather than play political games. >> we'll leave it there. the debate will continue in this hot political year. both of you, thank you very much, chairman steele and chairman kaine. we will come back after this and have more with chairman steele. i should point out in our "meet the press" take two web extra, it's up this afternoon, you can also read excerpts of "right now: a 12-step program for defeating the obama agenda," plus, look for updates from me all throughout the week at our website, and up next, governor arnold schwarzenegger, how he plans to tackle california's massive budget deficit. and our political roundtable with nbc's andrea mitchell and chuck todd, only here on "meet the press." (announcer) we're in the energy business. but we're also in the showing-kids- new-worlds business.
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our exclusive interview from yesterday with governor arnold schwarzenegger here in california, after this brief commercial break. it's tough to reach that five servings a day if you don't always like the taste of vegetables. i'll be right back. ok. good thing v8 v-fusion juice gives you a serving of vegetables hidden by a serving of fruit. v8. what's your number? get a $1.00 coupon for v8 v-fusion juice at
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and we're back with our special broadcast from california. governor schwarzenegger, good morning. >> good morning. >> it's always nice to come home to california. thank you for having us. >> absolutely. >> this has been a big week for you with your state of the state message and a new budget and 2010 begins in a challenging place, for a lot of states, including california, in this economy. do you feel like the worst is over? >> i think that economically, the worst is over. i see a little comeback when it comes to job creation. we see, also that, you know, homes are being sold again and that home sales are up and i think that very soon you will
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see construction again on new homes and so on. but when it comes to the financial crisis that california is in, i think we are not out of the woods yet. as i said in my state of the state and in my budget speech, we still have a tough road ahead of us and this year is one of those tough years. >> and as for the country as well, when you think not just about california, but the country and economic recovery, what do you think is the biggest threat to that recovery? is it unemployment? >> i think that we have to get the economy back. i think that we have to have money available, loans available so businesses can expand again and people can buy homes. i think that we just have to get jobs back as quickly as possible. that's why we have tax incentives for people that want to buy new or used homes and we just want to do everything that we can as a state and as a country to stimulate the economy. that's the key thing, because i think that the worst is when people lose their jobs and they have to go home to their family and say, you know, i have no more money.
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we cannot provide for the family and so on. or when both of the parents lose their jobs, it gets even tougher. and that's the case in a lot of the families. so that we have to do everything that we can do, it's government's responsibility to stimulate the economy and to help. >> the federal government is spending a lot of money in stimulus, preparing to do so on health care reform, if that gets passed. and there's a lot of talk about taxes, whether taxes will be necessary on the national level or even when you're facing a $20 billion shortfall. david ignatius wrote something, a comment for "the washington post" that caught my attention. he wrote, "what worries me, looking ahead, thinking about the whole country can be is what might be call the californiaization of america, the growing tendency of our political system to make promises in social spending programs that isn't prepared to pay for it with tax increases." think about california. how can you stick to a position, as you do, that tax increases are not the way to go? >> well, first of all, we have no option. because if you do the tax
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increases, you immediately kind of stifle the economy. so right now, where we try to get where we see that the economy has bottomed out and that it has a chance now to come back, to go in now and hit the state with more taxes will be the wrong thing to do. so what you want to do is you want to do the opposite. you want to go and put money into the economy and go and give tax incentives for businesses, for new hires, as we did, or for retraining people or for home buyers tax credits and so on. so i think that it would be a big mistake. i think that the thing that politicians should not do is promise things they can't keep. and they have no funding mechanism to go and follow through with those promises. like, for instance, in california with the pensions, the public employer's pension, i mean, it's a disaster, because in the late '90s, they were promised thing that there's no way that the state can keep those promises. and that's why i said that we've got to get democrats and republicans together and fix this problem, because right now,
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we are paying already more than $3 billion towards the pensions. and eventually, that amount is going to go up to $10 billion. and that's money that's been taken away from very important programs, universities, schools, health care, and all those kind of other things. >> when you think about the federal government's budget, which doesn't have to be brought into alignment the way a state budget's like california's, do you think taxes have to go up to pay for stimulus, to pay for health care? >> i think that the government has to live within its means. and of course, the big advantage that the federal government has is that they can run up those deficits and they can print more money, whereas a state can't. and i tried to tell the people in california, when you have $85 billion in revenues available, that's all you can spend. that's the end of that. even though they may want to spend $104 billion or $105 billion, we've got to make the necessary cuts because we've got to live within our means. we cannot print more money in our state, we cannot go and run up those deficits as the federal government does.
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>> you've called some of the cuts that you've put forward in your budget draconian cuts, by your own admission. one of the things you've said so strongly is that the federal government has got to come to california's aid. what do you need? >> it's not so much coming to our aid, the federal government owes us billions of dollars. there's a difference. in california's, one's got 94 cents to the dollar that we are putting in on federal taxes. now we've only got 78 cents. but you've got places like alaska that gets $1.68. you've got new mexico that gets $2.03. so we are subsidizing those states. and that is the thing that is unfair. so what we are saying to the federal government, look, you are responsible for our border security, you're responsible for immigration and for all those kind of things that, you know, if you fix those problems, if you fix us, you know, with the incarceration of undocumented immigrant, which costs us almost $1 billion, then we can talk. but right now, they don't want to pay any of those things. so it is unfair we are paying in
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$1 and getting back 78 cents on the dollar. so we try to fix that and it's not a bailout at all, it's just being fairness. and it's federal fail nerness, federal bailout. >> what about the stimulus? is it help to california? >> i think it was very helpful to california. i was in big support of the stimulus package. it has given us money to do with technology and our universities and son. so we were very appreciative, but it was one-time money. one should always know the difference between one-time money and ongoing money. one-time money that's here today, gone tomorrow. ongoing money, when i talk about increasing the level from 78 cents to 98 cents, that's an ongoing thing. or when we talk about health care, where we have health care where we are owed billions of dollars in health care, that's ongoing. so we want to make those adjustments with the federal government and work with them so that it's more fair.
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>> what happens if california doesn't get the money that you feel it deserves from the federal government? what then? >> well, first of all, i never really think so much about option "b," because it's a loser's attitude. i think you always have to just think about, even though it has been difficult up until now to get that money, we have been fighting for it for six years, but we never give up. it is just like with the redistricting reform. journalists always ask me, they say, wait a minute, you have lost now five times, why are you back now a sixth time with redistricting reform. don't you get it, the people vote no, and i say, no, i never give up. i come from a sports background, just because you didn't lift the weight one time, did you give up and never try it again? no, there's no such thing. we'll be back, and in redistricting reform, the sixth time we won. and the same with this, we'll never give up. this time we'll go back with the four legislative leaders of california, republicans and democrats alike and keep pushing and talking to the federal government, letting them know that it is unfair the way the money is being distributed right
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now. and so we always will inspire and push extra hard the california congressional delegation, the bipartisan delegation, because they're not being representing us really well in this case. you know, if you think about that the senate just voted for a health care bill that is saying basically that california should pay for nebraska so that nebraska never has to pay any extra money -- >> to expand the medicare rolls. >> to expand -- and then we have to pay $3 billion, $4 billion extra for those states. >> you said the president should rethink health care reform? >> absolutely. because that's not health care reform, to go and put that extra burden, billions of dollars, on other states, especially on california, just because we are the best state in the world and the best place in the world and we have the most diversified economy and everyone wants to come to california is no reason to beat up on california and to always ask for more money from california. i think it's time for the federal government to go and take care of us. >> is that how you think about health care reform, as something that, ultimately, would beat up on california?
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>> yes, it is. right now, i just cannot imagine why we would have, like i said, you know, for instance, you know, our senators and congressional people, how they would vote for something like that where they're representing nebraska and not us. and by the way, as i said in my state of the state, that's the biggest rip-off. i mean, that is against the law to buy a vote. >> you're talking about senator nelson -- >> senator nelson. that's like buying a vote. >> the federal government will pay for their medicaid expansion. >> i'm holding out my vote unless i get some extra kind of benefits here. if you do that in sacramento, you know, you would be sued. it is illegal to do that, to buy votes. >> can i ask you a couple more california issues. >> yeah. >> one of the things you talked about that got a lot of attention is your pledge to move money out of the state budget from prisons into higher education. i don't have to tell you, the university of california system has raised fees for students. what is the future of education in california? >> i think the future of education in california is great. i think we still have the best
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university system in the world. the key thing is that we reform education from kindergarten through 14, especially kindergarten through 12. because it is inexcusable for what we had up until now, and we are fighting to change that for years now, and finally we were able to change it. just the other day, assigned legislation to reform education. it's inexcusable that children get stuck in low-performing schools and you cannot get them out without the school principal's permission. of course, the school principal will never give you the permission, because he will be losing money if he lets a kid go out. so they are stranded, they are strapped -- as i said, there's like a chain on the exit doors. and now we finally changed it. or, for instance, that parents c cannot be involved in which direction a school or education can go. now they have, with that reform, they have a chance to turn low-performing schools or failing schools into charter schools or close the school down or move the kids out of the school or fire the school
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principal or teachers and so on and so forth. so those are the kind of things, those are the kind of reforms we need to do. and i'm glad that finally both parties got together and created those reforms that we've been fighting for for years. and here's a good example of a good relationship with the federal government. because the obama administration was very instrumental, arne duncan, the education secretary, to push the states to say, here's $4.3 billion for you guys. you can apply and compete for this money and we can get $700 million, so that kind of put it over the top. so there was, you know, the federal government very helpful in this. >> let me ask you a little bit about president obama. do you think he's doing a good enough job keeping america safe? >> i think that he's doing everything that he can. i think that, you know, democrats, a lot of times, get the rap. you know, they're not strong on security and all of those kind of things. i think that he has talked about the issues. i think that he's been fighting for the issues.
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this was an unfortunate situation of what happened over christmas. and i think it is a total failure in the communication within the departments. and when you look back, all of the instances that are happening, it's always saying, we had everything in place, but we didn't pass on, the dots were not connected or something like that. it's not like the president has done something wrong or because he was in hawaii or anything like that. it has nothing to do with that at all. what it has to do with just simply they didn't connect the dots, and within the agencies, within the airport authorities and homeland securities and the cia and everyone else, they just don't connect the dots. and we have -- we had this problem before we started creating homeland security. also here in california, in california, the law enforcement did not really communicate well, the fbi did not want to give them certain information, and fbi didn't want to give information to law enforcement. there's all this territorial fighting going on. and i think that that has to get, we have to get rid of that problem and connect the dots. other than that, i would say we
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have very smart people in leadership. it's just working together is always the hardest thing to do. >> working together. as you come to the last year of your tenure as governor, where do you fit in the republican party of today? >> i'm a reformer. i'm an independent reformer. i came in to this job here saying that i won't be the people's governor, not the republican party's governor, but the people's governor. i represent democrats and republicans. i want to do everything that i can to bring democrats and republicans together. that's why i've been talking so much about bipartisanship, post partisanship or no-partisanship. i want to bring the parties together instead of talking about what they want to fight over. let's do it together. let's go to the beginning of the year and say, here are the things that need to be done and get thm to work together on those things. we in california, even though california is known as a state
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that is not governable, it's very hard to govern california. probably the toughest state to govern in the united states. but, still, we got a lot of things done. i'm very proud, when you look -- i always run around with this list, david. and i put this down, workers' compensation, done. budget reform, not done. we still have to fight for that. rebuilding our levees, rebuilding our roads, rebuilding our schools, more affordable housing, rebuilding our prisons. those things were done. but then tax reform was not done. you know, campaign finance reform was not done. open primaries was not done. so, you know, i think that we have a lot of things we've got done, even though democrats and republicans fight. but i think it is much easier. i mean, people take party out of the way. i know it is very hard to do, but you've got to be a servant to the people, not to your party. >> do you think the republican
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party is doing that today, nationally? >> i think both of the parties are not doing that, because it's so political, they're thinking more about the party than about the people. and i think as soon as both party comes together and have regular meetings, and say, what can we accomplish together, rather than worrying just about how do we get elected and how do we get more people elected for the republican party and how to get more elected for the democratic party. all of this -- i know it's part of power to do that, but i think we should tone that down and lift up of what is important really for the people. look, this country needs to rebuild itself. we are still living off the eisenhower era and of the roosevelt era. they built the thousands of bridges and the thousands of government buildings and the roads, the highway system, and all of those things. what's the new thing that we are building? we haven't built anything in decades. we need a high-speed rail, we need new infrastructure. we need to think about it because we have countries like china and europe that are very fast gaining on us and surpassing us, so we've got to
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get our act together and really make this country kind of live in the 21st century, not be with the infrastructure in the 20th century. >> as you look at the political landscape nationally, do you think the republican party is poised for some big gains within this election year? >> without any doubt, but not because some miracle is happening that they did or that the democrats department do. that's, by nature, you always see that. you know, there's a huge momentum, two years ago there was a huge momentum for the democratic party, because the republicans were in charge for so many years, and they have done a good job, the republicans, but the momentum was swinging the other way, so the democrats got all the votes. so now i think the pendulum is coming back and it's going the other way and i think that the republicans are really going to benefit this year from now. and they will have a chance to come up with some good ideas and how to go in the right direction for the country. >> final question, what's ahead for arnold schwarzenegger? is it politics or is it hollywood? >> i don't even think about my next move at all.
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i'm thinking about this year, because there's so much opportunity this year in tax reform, in budget reform and to really move the state forward into various different areas that we need to move the state forward and bringing both of the parties together and get our infrastructure, the water infrastructure passed -- pay no attention, just a little earthquake. >> when you speak, things happen. >> see in california, when there's a noise, governor never shakes or worries about it, because earthquakes happens all the time. >> up in l.a. guy -- >> right, exactly. that's the bottom line. i am not thinking about myself, i'm thinking about the state. that's the key thing. and then when i'm finished, i can always think about myself. >> all right. will you run for political office again? >> well, you never say never, but, you know, right now i have no plans, period. >> governor schwarzenegger, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. and coming next, a look at the 2010 political landscape, plus the president's priorities for the coming year and his plans to keep the nation safe
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after the attempted christmas day terror plot. insights from our roundtable, nbc's andrea mitchell and chuck todd join us here. i'm just not . what is it? oh just return it. returning gifts is easier than ever with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service. if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. plus i can pick it up for free. perfect because we have to get that outta this house. c'mon, it's not that... gahh, oh yeah that's gotta go... priority mail flat rate shipping starts at $4.95 only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship and return. and added a little fiber? sweet! sweet! (together) sweet! (announcer) now for the first time, a gram of healthy fiber in every packet. sweet! (announcer) splenda® with fiber. aren't absorbed properly unless taken with food. he recommended citracal. it's different -- it's calcium citrate, so it can be absorbed with or without food.
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and we're back with our special edition of "meet the press," from california. and joining us now, our chief foreign affairs correspondent, andrea mitchell, and our political director and chief white house correspondent, chuck todd. thanks, both of you, for coming out here. and you heard governor schwarzenegg schwarzenegger.
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he is on the front line of what a lot of states are going through, which is a 2010 which looks a lot like 2009, which is horrendous when it comes to their budget. chuck todd, you ask him about health care reform, he is not happy about what appears to be coming down the pike. >> he is not. and that should actually have the white house very frustrated a little bit. they've actually counted on schwarzenegger being one of the few republicans to stand behind them on the stimulus and a few of the other things they've tried to do. and here we was, hitting them hard over this deal they cut with senator ben nelson. you could see a vein pop in his head. this idea that nebraska is going to be exempted by any medicare mandate costs while the other 49 states have to pay for it. and california in particular. look, this budget problem is going to be what the bank bailout was in '09 for president obama, the state bailouts could be in 2010 for him. this could be the big thing that nobody's going to like, everybody is going to say is unpopular, but maybe the government will have no choice. >> and he talked about health care kind of akin to beating up on california at a time when it want billions of dollars in
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repayment from the federal government. >> here you've got a republican governor who is nonpartisan. he was defending the president on a lot of other things, the terror war, but basically saying that the democratic senators and representatives from california should not have voted for this. now, ben nelson, backing off, saying that they should do a fix where every state gets their full medicaid bill paid for. that's another $25 billion to $27 billion. they've got a real problem here. and they were counting on governors like ed rendell from pennsylvania, going out and trying to drum up support for health care. they're sending bill clinton to the house democratic caucus the end of this week, trying to get him to do what he did on the senate side. vote for this, or you will lose next year as we lost in 1994 in the midterms. >> chuck, here the president faces unemployment at 10%. this week, more jobs lost. it stays unchanged at over 10%. mark zandi, who is an economist with moody's, the white house consulted with him,
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he says unemployment will go up to 10.8% by october. the president wants to fight the deficit, but you've got states like california and other states saying, we need more stimulus. we need more federal help here, even though governor schwarzenegger says it's not a bailout. >> right, he did say that, but they are working on a second stimulus, the white house is just afraid to call it that. it's this $200, $250 billion of transportation things, different things to just try to boost things along a little bit. but they'll have no choice. this state budget crisis is something folks don't appreciate, most of these states, look, as governor schwarzenegger said, they can't print money. they can't run deficits. they have these constitutional mandates to balance their budgets and all of these big states are going to get hit. and the thing is, when you're hearing about school days getting shorter, when you're hearing about school years getting shorter, that is just politically so unpopular. so you can just see how the pressure gets applied to washington, to congress.
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it's not going to be popular, but they're going to feel they have no choice. >> andrea, it's 2010, an election year, and a lot of people are looking up and saying, government's not working. that's what barack obama ran on. >> and you not only have that change hasn't worked, with the real unemployment rate, as many people say, is 17.3%, people who have given up and are no longer even trying to get jobs, that's a whole lot worse, but there's a whole antiincumbent fervor out there and there's a lot more democrats at stake than republicans. so the democratic party is facing the reality that in 2010, if it doesn't start to change, they are going to feel the anger, the anger that the tea party advocates really epitomize. >> and really quickly, david, watching your interview with governor schwarzenegger, it reminded me, almost, could that be president obama in six years? >> you saw this frustration on governor schwarzenegger. he came in, on the recall effort, one could argue it was a precursor of this tea party movement. people were sick and tired of government not working here in california. they said, we're going to recall
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a governor, and it was unprecedented at the time. we're going to bring in this outsider who really thinks he can just change everything, bring in a new face. and he whips out his list, it's only about half done, and that's what president obama tapped into, was candidate obama, this idea, a new face, he'll be able to do all these things and bring the parties together in a way that can't be done. and i think in his first year, he'll probably have this list. i wonder, does that go to what your question was that government, maybe these places are becoming less governorable. >> look what president obama has had to do in terms of bailouts, wall street, the auto companies. he's had to do things -- now there's a debate about whether he should have done all those things, but he takes on popular positions because of a crisis, and that's what he faces about whether the government is ultimately making things better. >> and politically, the white house will say, look, if we would have taken a poll, we wouldn't have bailed out gm. we know that that's unpopular. over time, they think that as
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long as he's got the personality credibility still with the public, they may be disappointed in all of these things that he's doing, but somehow this personal credibility, and when the aircraft carrier finally turns, that they think, maybe, he'll get some credit for that. >> let's talk about the political landscape, andrea. this week, the announcement of some prominent retirements. chris dodd in connecticut, he faced a tough race. byron dorgan in north dakota. democratic governors, as well, in the mountain west, where democrats are making such gains. they're now saying they're not going to run. what does it mean? >> certainly the byron dorgan decision in north dakota was a stomach punch, because they're not going to be able to hold that seat, most likely, especially if the popular republican governor, john hogan runs. chris dodd's decision was actually a blessing for the democrats, because they were going to have to write off that seat. he was running so far behind in his race, and now they could be competitive if the fairly popular veteran attorney general turns out to be as good on the stump as he's been as attorney
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general. so the democrats could hold on to that seat. but it taps into what you were talking about. there is a feeling of there was so much promise and hope only a year ago, and now because of continuing economic woes, all of the bailout, the problems on the terror front, government is not working the way people expect it to. >> and i talked to a white house adviser, chuck, this week who bs the problem for this president, with independent voters, is that feeling that, hey, i may believe in this guy, but he can't solve these huge problems. the debt, you know, government working overall, you know, wall street. he can't prevent the little guy from getting hurt by all these forces. >> well, and there's this snowball affect. you say what these retirements mean, and individually, the white house was trying to push back saying, the dodd thing is a blessing, and politically, it is. the dorgan, he was going to lose anyway, and ritter, he was running a bad race. we're now going to get a better candidate there if the mayor of denver runs. you can explain all that way, but it leads to this idea, these guys would be running if they
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thought they were going to win. and the fact is the landscape stinks. and it is because you have a combination of things. you have democratic base not fired up the way they were in 2006 and 2008. independents, which you just mentioned about that the white house realizes, they're disappointed. now, the question is, do they show up and suddenly vote with the republicans, which then would create a republican wave and a tsunami and they probably would take control of everything, or do they just not show up at all out of frustration for the entire system. >> as we talk about republicans, because republicans can't take all of this bank. a legitimate republican pickup opportunities, run through that list, and then look at the democrats. >> in the senate, and you have these races, they have very good about some of them that are environmentally driven. arkansas, blanche lincoln, a state that voted in huge numbers for mccain. obama did very poorly there. you have all of the appointed seats, which is joe biden's
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senate seat in delaware. especially if his son doesn't end up running. the byron dorgan retirement, that has people worried that people like beau biden will say, if he's having second thoughts, maybe i will. illinois, they don't have any a-list democrats there running in that primary. it's going to be kind of a messy primary. that's barack obama's senate seat. so you put all of those together and you see why republicans think they can pick four, five senate seats up. the problem republicans have, though, is they have their own retirements. they had kidd bond in missouri, judd gregg in new hampshire. they have their own vulnerability. so them having these huge gains seems a little bit out of the realm. >> and you saw what happened in new york state with that congressional district. which republican party do they belong to? which republican shows up? arnold schwarzenegger, more than anyone else, shows you the different kind of republican who doesn't want the partisanship, who isn't willing just attack barack obama on any given question, who would point out
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that on intelligence and the war on terror, that he's doing the best that he can. >> schwarzenegger couldn't win a republican primary right now. >> but the republicans are still in some disarray about what they want their party to be. and you had the chairman of the party saying this week that he didn't think they could retake control of congress. >> they're trying to embrace the tea party movement. this is fascinating, in that they want to embrace it on one hand, but then you have the establishment in washington nervous about them at the same time. because, you know, you do wonder, are they eating their own? we look at this senate florida primary as going to be sort of front and center of the tea party movement versus the establishment. give the popular governor, charlie crist, a moderate, marco rubio, a favorite of the conservatives. >> the politics will dominate a lot of this year, but also, andrea, what the president's gone through this week, with the aftermath, the fallout from this christmas day terror plot, david broder who in his column on friday this about the president, "the christmas plot appears to have shaken obama like nothing else that happened in his first year. when he allowed the white house
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to quote his warning to his cabinet colleagues that another, quote, screwup like that could not be tolerated, he seemed to signal that his benign leadership style had reached its limits." this is a priority now. >> it's a priority. and clearly, was he, barack obama, taking charge of this national security team, not just being a passive recipient of briefings, but really saying, what are you doing, what are you doing, who's talking to whom. this is your last warning. you guys have got to change thi things, you've got to start communicating better. it wasn't, obviously, that they had the information, but the analysis wasn't tough enough, it wasn't timely. they've got to be much more rapid. and with all the new technologies, they've got the tools to do it. the people were just not up to the job. >> and now a new warning out this weekend about a reminder of the threats that come not just from somalia and from yemen, but also from pakistan and afghanistan. >> and this brings it home, because al qaeda, we've been saying, has become franchised, and they have gone from al qaeda
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central to these other countries, yemen and somalia. but here you've got the martyr suicide video of the man who did such incredible, grievous damage to our cia forces in afghanistan and the bombing in cost they're going after this target this afghanistan in a way that they never have before. it shows you how they have stepped it up and we have to get ahead of the game and right now we're on the defensive. now we have to look at everything in our arsenal, because if they penetrated so deeply, now we have to look at every other asset we have and wonder, who out there is also a turncoat. >> and how did the president come out of this week, then, chuck? >> he's at this point in the presidency where you do nothing but almost react to events on the ground. he doesn't have the ability anymore, i think, to set an agenda in the way that first-year presidents do. we're truly in this second year and the rest of his presidency
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reacted very quickly on this. that ft. hood review is going to be fascinating when it comes out. when that comes out and those congressional hearings, that's when we may see some heads roll in the intelligence, investigative, security community, whether it's domestic, fbi, or international -- >> for missing the signals on hasan and -- >> the missed signals on hasan are very similar to the missed signals on the detroit bomber. >> chuck, harry reid, the majority leader, already facing a really tough re-election in 2010. now, as we referred to early on in the program, has some apologizing to do and is already doing it. >> he does, and he weren't senate majority leader, we would be talking about, what kind of pressure is going on what kind of whispers are going on behind the scene to get harry reid to do the right thing and retire. the thing is, he's the majority leader. that would send such a crazy signal to the party that looks like it's on the edge of disarray, so they couldn't afford it. he's been a gaffe machine in the past. but you wonder, if he somehow wins re-election, he would be
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doing something that an incumbent senator hasn't done in 50 years, which is recover from a double-digit deficit. it doesn't happen. >> does it hurt his relationship with the president? >> not getting health care done would hurt his relationship with the president. harry reid has said a lot of dumb things to the president behind the saeps in the past. the president's a pretty forgiving guy. >> and watch the debut of "the daily rundown," hosted by our white house team, chuck todd and savannah guthrie, it starts monday morning at 9:00 a.m. on msnbc. and their exclusive guest on day one, white house chief of staff, rahm emanuel. we'll be right back. - ( whirring ) - oh, you know what? let me call you back. announcer: you don't drink every time you smoke. yet you smoke every time you drink. drinking and smoking don't have to go together. re-learn life without cigarettes, free, at a new way to think about quitting.


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